United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney wants Premier Rachel Notley to call an election on Feb. 1, which would allow Albertans to go to the polls in the first week of March.
“This is a government that has lost massively the support of Albertans,” Kenney said during a news conference Thursday on the last day of the fall legislature session.
“It would be, I think, a huge mistake for them to try to foist on Albertans as a lame-duck government a budget, when their entire fiscal plan is in tatters.
“Albertans desperately want a government that is focused on reigniting our economy and fighting for this province. They don’t want to wait until May or June.”
According to legislation, the election must be held in March, April or May of 2019.
With his UCP leading in the polls, Kenney appears eager to get an election underway as soon as possible.
But Notley remains coy about whether her government will hold a spring session or table a provincial budget.
Though Finance Minister Joe Ceci suggested last week he would table a spring budget, Notley wouldn’t confirm which way she was leaning.
“There may or may not be a budget,” she said prior to boarding a flight to Montreal on Thursday for a meeting between the premiers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“There are two options and one of those two options will happen.”
‘I love this place’
However, some MLAs were acting as though Thursday was the last day of the last session before the electionn.
Government House Leader and Transportation Minister Brian Mason has decided to retire once this term wraps up. He became teary-eyed as he bid farewell to the legislature.
“It’s been a wonderful 18 years in this place,” he said as the assembly erupted in applause.
“I love this place and I’m going to miss it very much, and all of you.”
Asked whether he was marking his last day in the legislature, Mason said he didn’t know. He said everyone was hedging their bets just in case.
“I have no idea what the premier is going to decide,” Mason said.
The five-week fall session started on Oct. 29. MLAs passed bills to give municipal election campaign donations more transparency, tie infrastructure funding for Edmonton and Calgary to rises and falls in provincial revenue and regulate mental health counsellors and private addiction treatment centres.
Other bills increased monthly payments to recipients of Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped benefits, and for the first time legislated guidelines for distributing assets when common-law couples split up.
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Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area. It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary, generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road). Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.
Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016, Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.
Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.
The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton. The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.